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Features

Joel Quenneville adds to legacy with latest Cup win

Monday, 06.15.2015 / 10:54 PM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Joel Quenneville isn't always the first name mentioned among the NHL's best coaches, but the coach of the Chicago Blackhawks bolstered his case after winning the Stanley Cup for the third time Monday.

After 18 seasons, Quenneville has an NHL coaching legacy few of his peers can match.

The 2-0 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 6 of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final at United Center is the latest jewel, but his collection of coaching gems is gaudy to say the least.

Quenneville is third in NHL regular-season wins (754) and Stanley Cup Playoff wins (115), trailing Scotty Bowman and Al Arbour in each category.

Nearly a month ago, the Toronto Maple Leafs signed Mike Babcock to an eight-year contract reportedly worth $50 million, which made some wonder what Quenneville might be worth on the open market.

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Blackhawks have strong case to be called 'dynasty'

Monday, 06.15.2015 / 10:53 PM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

CHICAGO -- With no official guidelines for what a dynasty is, the debate about which teams belong in that category are often the topic of intense debate among fans.

"It's one of those things that makes great conversation," Hockey Hall of Fame center Bryan Trottier told NHL.com.

Trottier should know; he was a key player on one of the NHL teams universally called a dynasty. His New York Islanders won Stanley Cup four straight years, from 1980-83.

Those Islanders are joined by the Montreal Canadiens of 1970s, with four championships from 1976-79; and the Edmonton Oilers, with five championships from 1984-90. The Detroit Red Wings won three championships in six seasons (1997-98, 2002) and are labeled a dynasty in many hockey circles.

Where do these Chicago Blackhawks fit among hockey's greatest teams?

They have won the 2010, 2013 and the 2015 Stanley Cup. They clinched their third championship in the past six seasons with a Game 6 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning at United Center on Monday.

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President Obama tweets support for Blackhawks

Monday, 06.15.2015 / 6:58 PM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

NHL.com

President Barack Obama used his Twitter account to show support for his hometown Chicago Blackhawks on Monday.

Obama took to @BarackObama about an hour before Game 6 on Monday to tweet, "Let's. Go. Hawks," accompanied by a picture of First Lady Michelle Obama prior to the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic between the Blackhawks and Washington Capitals.

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PHOTO: Stanley Cup goes through airport security

Monday, 06.15.2015 / 5:20 PM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

NHL.com

The Stanley Cup made it through airport security this morning on its way to Chicago and United Center, where the Chicago Blackhawks can win it against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 6 of the Final (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports).

The Blackhawks are trying to win the Cup at home for the first time since 1938, against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

CLICK THROUGH FOR PHOTO

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Three keys for Lightning, Blackhawks to win Game 6

Monday, 06.15.2015 / 2:06 PM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

CHICAGO -- The Stanley Cup might be in the building at some point Monday night. It also might not be.

It's not a foregone conclusion that the Cup will enter United Center at any point during Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Chicago Blackhawks and Tampa Bay Lightning (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports). The score dictates its potential arrival.

The Lightning want to do everything they can to keep it out. The Blackhawks want to raise it up.

Here are three keys for each team in order to accomplish what they want to make happen:

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Lightning's Kucherov skates, probable for Game 6

Monday, 06.15.2015 / 1:40 PM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Shawn Roarke - Director, Editorial

CHICAGO -- Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov took the morning skate Monday and is probable for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports), coach Jon Cooper said.

"Go in football terms; how do they go?" Cooper said when asked about Kucherov's status. "Probable. I'll go probable."

Kucherov handled the puck and took shots during the practice.

"I'm going to take warm-up and then it's up to coach if I play or not," Kucherov said after the skate.

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OHL draft snub Cirelli emerges as Memorial Cup hero

Monday, 06.15.2015 / 3:00 AM / 2015 NHL Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Oshawa Generals forward Anthony Cirelli couldn't believe where he was or what he had done.

There he was, inches in front of Kelowna Rockets goaltender Jackson Whistle in overtime of the championship game of the Memorial Cup. Then a loose puck popped onto his stick with an empty net to shoot it into.

"It was kind of a blur," Cirelli said. "I remember it going in. Then we were hoisting the cup."

Cirelli scored both goals in a 2-1 win that clinched Oshawa its first Memorial Cup title since 1990.

Oshawa's lineup for the championship game featured seven players who had been drafted by NHL teams, two in the first round, and another who could go late in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft.

But it was Cirelli, passed over twice in the Ontario Hockey League draft, who made it to the Generals after surviving two training camps, that had the biggest moment of the season.

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Blackwood, Vladar among top goaltenders for draft

Monday, 06.15.2015 / 3:00 AM / 2015 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

At a time when goaltenders are more athletic and better coached than ever, don't be surprised if a run on top prospects at the position ensues after the early rounds of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla., June 26-27.

"If this year has proven anything when it comes to goalies it's that having the ability to stick with it and work hard can lead to good things," said Al Jensen, NHL Central Scouting's top evaluator at the position. "There were so many goalies out there this year [in the NHL] who didn't make it at first. But when given an opportunity proved they could thrive."

Among the goalies who excelled this season after bumpy paths included Devan Dubnyk of the Minnesota Wild, Cam Talbot of the New York Rangers, Scott Darling of the Chicago Blackhawks and Andrew Hammond of the Ottawa Senators.

"Goalie is also a position where when you get on a roll, your confidence rolls and the puck begins to look like a beach ball," Jensen said. "There isn't a whole lot of difference between stopping pucks in the American Hockey League and the National Hockey League."

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Lightning confident underdogs heading into Game 6

Sunday, 06.14.2015 / 8:01 PM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

CHICAGO -- For the third time in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Tampa Bay Lightning will face elimination on the road in a game they'll enter as underdogs.

For a team that was relatively inexperienced when this postseason began, this situation is one they no longer feel uncomfortable in.

The Lightning trail the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final, and Game 6 of the best-of-7 series is Monday at United Center (8 p.m., NBC, CBC, TVA Sports). Either Tampa Bay wins, or an offseason likely filled with disappointment and remorse about being so close to claiming the Stanley Cup begins.

These Lightning have faced this scenario before, though the stakes weren’t quite as high. Tampa Bay trailed the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 in an Eastern Conference First Round series. The Red Wings had frustrated the high-powered Lightning with shutouts in two of the previous three games and had Game 6 at Joe Louis Arena.

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Versteeg responds for Blackhawks after tough start

Sunday, 06.14.2015 / 6:44 PM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks forward Kris Versteeg met the media at United Center on Sunday, smirking and happy to play along with captain Jonathan Toews, who referred to him as "the new guy," at the press conference table.

There hasn't been a lot of face time for Versteeg at press conferences in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs; a turbulent postseason has bounced him in and out of the lineup since playing in all six of Chicago's games in the Western Conference First Round against the Nashville Predators.

Despite his familiar name and face, Versteeg does seem like a new guy for the Blackhawks, who can win their third championship in six seasons with a victory in Game 6 of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning at United Center on Monday (8 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, TVA Sports).

Thanks in part to Versteeg's effort on center Antoine Vermette's game-winning goal in Game 5 at Amalie Arena on Saturday, the Blackhawks have a 3-2 lead in the best-of-7 series. They have a chance to clinch a championship on their home ice for the first time since 1938, but the "new guy" is trying to take a measured approach.

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Quote of the Day

He's a winner. We want winners here, and he's a proven winner. He's won two Stanley Cups. He's 22 years old and been a big part of it. He's got all the right tools. He's got size (6-foot-1, 204 pounds) and strength. He's exactly what we were looking for. He's going to be a big piece of our team for many, many years to come.

— Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen on Brandon Saad, who he acquired in a trade with the Blackhawks on Tuesday
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